2014 Man Booker Prize Winner
Synopses & Reviews
Winner of the Man Booker Prize
A savagely beautiful novel about the many forms of love and death, of war and truth, as one man comes of age, prospers, only to discover all that he has lost.
August, 1943. In the despair of a Japanese POW camp on the Thai-Burma Death Railway, Australian surgeon Dorrigo Evans is haunted by his affair with his uncle’s young wife two years earlier. His life is a daily struggle to save the men under his command from starvation, from cholera, from pitiless beatings. Until he receives a letter that will change him forever.
“Richard Flanagan has written a sort of Australian War and Peace.” Alan Cheuse, NPR
“I suspect that on rereading, this magnificent novel will seem even more intricate, more carefully and beautifully constructed.” New York Times Book Review
“Captivating....This is a classic work of war fiction from a world-class writer....Nothing since Cormac McCarthy’s The Road has shaken me like this.” Ron Charles, Washington Post
“A symphony of tenderness and love, a moving and powerful story that captures the weight and breadth of a life....A masterpiece.” The Guardian
“Elegantly wrought, measured, and without an ounce of melodrama, Flanagan’s novel is nothing short of a masterpiece.” Financial Times
“A moving and necessary work of devastating humanity and lasting significance.” Seattle Times
“It is the story of Dorrigo, as one man among many POWs in the Asian jungle, that is the beating heart of this book: an excruciating, terrifying, life-altering story that is an indelible fictional testament to the prisoners there.” Michiko Kakutani, New York Times
“A supple meditation on memory, trauma, and empathy that is also a sublime war novel....Pellucid, epic, and sincerely touching.” Publishers Weekly
“Extraordinarily beautiful, intelligent, and sharply insightful....Flanagan handles the horrifyingly grim details of the wartime conditions with lapidary precision and is equally good on the romance of the youthful indiscretion that haunts Evans.” Booklist
“Virtuosic....Flanagan’s book is as harrowing and brutal as it is beautiful and moving....This deeply affecting, elegiac novel will stay with readers long after it’s over.” Shelf Awareness
About the Author
Richard Flanagan is the author of five previous novels — Death of a River Guide, The Sound of One Hand Clapping, Gould’s Book of Fish, The Unknown Terrorist,
— which have received numerous honors and have been published in twenty-six countries. He lives in Tasmania.